Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hell or High Water

Big wheels keep on turnin'
Pissed Lindsay keeps on burnin'
Rollin', Rollin'
Rollin' down the river
I really can't think of a more accurate description of my workout tonight, except for the fact that technically it was Lampkins Ridge Road and not a river, but due to the weather it might as well have been.

I've been struggling with my conversion to Happy Zen Lindsay for the last week. Not that I'm expecting to convert that quickly, but I'm disappointed that I haven't put in more work towards that end. It sucks when you're too busy, stressed, and depressed to do things that will help you stop being busy, stressed, and depressed.

Nevertheless, I also decided that I can't take any more mental health days from training and it was time to embrace my "Week of Pain". Early in the day today I decided that my number one priority would be getting home and getting on the bike, even if it meant putting off some of my more therapeutic "to do" list items another day. I know darn well after the last couple of months, that Hard-nose Badass Suck-it-up Lindsay has a shelf life of five days at the very best, but I figured I just needed her for today and I would spend some time with Happy Zen Lindsay before my recovery ride tomorrow.

So I arrived home today in full Hard-nose Badass Suck-it-up Lindsay mode. However, I knew Adam was coming home early to leave for a concert in Indianapolis today, so I figured I'd just hang out and leave after he did to avoid the whole, "You're riding in the rain?" discussion. Being married to a bike mechanic has it's ups and downs. Unfortunately, I think he took my aloofness to be signs of depression and launched into a trite speech about, "Aren't you looking forward to nice weather and being able to train outside everyday?", which wouldn't have really been the best way to cheer me up even if I had been depressed. So the "You're riding in the rain?" discussion was launched after all. His alternative suggestions and chiding me for riding my good mountain bike tires on the road too much got me through me a bit off-track. Then a time-out to email the vet about Mrs. Bigglesworth's urinary tract health didn't help matters and by the time he was out the door I was ready to vent.

Of course, this minor disagreement or whatever you would call it would have normally just annoyed me a little, but I'd been teetering on the edge for about a week and half. General work stress and an annoying new employee that's been placed under my supervision have been working me up and I'm starting the find the dark emotional cloud that's been stalking me since January harder and harder to deal with. So in the solitude of my own home with only the cats to witness, I let Angry Lindsay loose. I screamed and stomped and threw a few things that I knew wouldn't break. Then I realized that this time was I was not going to let the gallons of adrenaline coursing through my veins turn me into a sobbing pile of Jello until I had completed my workout. Thus the hell or high water. Even after getting behind schedule, not being able to find my cycling cap, and not being able to air up the rear tire of the 'cross bike I had almost been guilted into riding due to a freakishly short valve stem, I jumped on my mountain bike with the full intention of doing my schedule time trial intervals.

I had 5 X 5K on the schedule, which I shortened to 4 X 2 miles since workout time would be more equivalent when converted to a slower bike. I also had to do an even number due to the out and back nature of my ride and not wanting to get caught in the dark. It actually went really well considering my poor fitness. Of course, the one advantage to poor fitness is that is makes it really easy to keep your heart rate above 185 when that's what you have been assigned to do. The other advantage was despite all her faults, Angry Lindsay can put out some killer athletic performances. If I can ever combine consistent training, peaking on race day, and getting completely irate about 30 minutes before an A race, there will be course records set.
In the end lactic acid has a magical way of clearing adrenaline and calming the angry beast. So does riding in thee rain (I would make a good Belgian except for my aversion to leg warmers) and I got my fair share of each. More importantly, I finally got a really workout in for the first time forever. Hopefully, the first of many.
I do feel weird sharing my emotional troubles with the rest of the world, but lately I feel like I need to share with someone. It's probably better to share with mostly strangers anyway since even if they do judge you harshly, it's not like the consequences are particularly severe. Of course, I'm not actually as crazy as this post makes me sound, as I don't have actual multiple personalities. I think people who do give them different first names.

However, stress, anger, and depression are things that I've struggled with my whole life and the last few months I've been experiencing a flareup. It's just the way I'm wired. I'm doing my best to help myself re-wire, but we'll just have to see how it goes. It should be interesting.

1 comment:

Mallie said...

Vent. We all do from time to time. I've got one brewing, but all the riding I'm doing this week is mellowing it out for the time being. Ride whatever bike you want, if you feel better on the MTb on the road one day, do it. Tires are a lesser expense than going down in slicks in the wet and hurting yourself.

I hope Mrs. Bigglesworth gets healthy real soon!